Sports

Lady Pilots keep improving and keep winning as season rolls along

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robbins
Bethel sophomore Jordan Robbins looks to drive by an IWU defender. Bethel lost to the Wildcats 71-62 on Dec. 2 at Bethel. (Photo by Keith Cooper)
The Lady Pilots picked up their second straight win on Tuesday night as the Pilots defeated Trinity Christian College by a score of 57-46. The Pilots had a terrible shooting night but were able to overcome their struggles with solid defense as they forced Trinity Christian into an astounding 27 turnovers. One of the few bright spots offensively for the Pilots was Bekah Basinger who scored 26 points on 9-15 shooting. Basinger has been struggling to get her rhythm offensively as she has been battling ankle problems the whole season. Up to this point in the season the Pilots look to be on pace with their preseason goals and expectations. Going in to the 2009-2010 campaign, the Pilot’s women’s basketball team had little on their mind but a championship; a championship in the MCC and a National Championship. Coming in as the nation’s No. 8 ranked team there was a lot of pressure on the ladies to succeed early. The first four games of the season did not pan out exactly how Coach Jody Martinez had hoped. Playing on the road for three of the first four, the Pilots dropped two contests, one to Mt. Marty and the other to IUSB. The Pilots did not let the early season adversity get to them however. Since that time, the Pilots rattled off a six game winning streak and have won eight of their last nine. Impressive victories along this stretch include triumphs over Cornerstone and Ohio Dominican. The Pilots currently sit at 10-3 overall and 2-1 in the conference as they beat MCC foes Goshen and Grace, but fell to 5th ranked Indiana Wesleyan last Wednesday. Despite dropping in the polls, from 8th to 14th, there is no panic with the Lady Pilots. The Pilots feature the second and third leading scorers in the conference in Heather Seyfred and Mandy Yoder. Seyfred is averaging 19 points per game while Yoder is averaging over 15. Freshman forward Georgia Boisse leads the MCC in rebounding at nearly 10.5 and Mandy Yoder leads the conference in assists with six per contest. The Lady Pilots also placed three players in the conference’s top ten for three point percentage. Despite getting out to the strong start, the Pilots still feel that in order to improve they must work on bringing it for the full 40 minutes. “There have been quite a few games this season where we have started off slow at the beginning, yet have found a way to come together and get the job done,” junior guard Carlie Dunbar said. With that being said, the Pilots have a very tough road ahead. The MCC has proven to be loaded this year and as of Dec. 8, the conference boasted four teams nationally ranked, including Bethel. Dunbar knows that in MCC play every game will be played with a lot of heart and determination. “As we get into conference, we are hoping to both start and finish every game with the focus and intensity that we are going to need if we want to be successful,” added Dunbar. They have yet to play two of these teams as they still have home and away games remaining against both No. 23 ranked Saint Francis and No. 17 Taylor. The Pilots also have a road game where they will look to avenge their home loss against 5th ranked Indiana Wesleyan. Along with these tough conference games, the Pilots still have to travel to Grand Rapids this weekend where they will compete in the MCC/WHAC challenge at Davenport University. This weekend should serve as a good measuring stick for where the Pilots currently are nationally as they face a pair of nationally ranked teams. The Pilots will play No.16 Aquinas on Friday evening and then will turn around and take on No. 2 ranked Davenport University on Saturday afternoon. The Pilots do not have another home game until Dec. 16 when they take on Saint Francis and then they play Indiana Tech on Dec. 19. As the season nears the midway point, the Pilots look to continue their winning ways and keep focusing on getting better every game.
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